Representatives from Simon's charitable foundation had initially listed the nine statuettes the writer, producer and director had won for his work on The Simpsons and The Tracey Ullman Show for sale via the Abell Auction Company on 21 February (16), with each honour expected to fetch between $2,500 (£1,670) and $6,000 (£4,000).

However, Emmy bosses at the Academy of Television objected to the event and warned Simon's estate executives they would be breaking rules by offloading the awards for profit, prompting them to withdraw the items from the sale on Monday (25Jan16).

A representative tells that in the event Emmy winners' heirs or successors are no longer interested in keeping the gongs, they must "return the statuette to the Academy", allowing them to "hold it in storage in memory of the recipient".

The auction will go ahead, minus the Emmys. A collection of Simon's other possessions will go under the hammer to raise funds for the Sam Simon Charitable Giving Foundation, which supports animal welfare, disaster relief and other causes.

The TV mogul lost his battle with cancer last March (15).